Bodybuilder Dies after Breaking Neck in Horrific Squat Mishap

Bodybuilder and personal trainer Justyn Vicky lost his life in an attempt to squat 180-kg (396.8-lb) as the barbell came crashing down on his neck at a gym in Bali, Indonesia

Bodybuilder, Justyn Vicky, squat accident
Credit: Bali Discovery (via website)

There are few things in life that feel more rewarding than achieving a new PR (personal record) in the training room. While the goal may be crafting out an impressive physique, there is no denying the motivation to get stronger and lift heavy weights. According to the Bali Discovery, 33-year-old bodybuilder Justyn Vicky passed away after breaking his neck in a horrific squat mishap at a gym in Bali, Indonesia.

Working out is an essential part of many people’s lives. Besides the plethora of health benefits, it also helps better regulate our mental health. However, the rewards are associated with their own set of risks, some of which can even be fatal. It’s important to take the right actions to minimize the risk of injury, especially when trying to push your boundaries and lifting heavy weights. Progressing weight in small increments, having a spotter behind you, or using safety locks are some of the ways that can make our pursuit of lifting heavy safer.

Lower body training usually allows one to push heavier weights than the other body parts. Squats are a staple exercise in powerlifting for testing your strength along with bench presses and deadlifts. But even experienced professionals need to incorporate the right safety mechanisms to ensure longevity. Larry Wheels, a World Record breaking powerlifting star, picked up a major leg injury during squat training in Sep. 2021. He ended up tearing his quad in half from the massive load he pulled.

Seasoned powerlifter Joseph Whittaker found himself in a similar spot as Wheels while training squats in Oct. 2021. He was trying to squat a massive 400-kg (881.8-lb) when his legs seemed to give out. The barbell rolled forward to his head from his shoulders and his spotter needed to act swiftly to save him from a severe injury.

Some injuries can be career-threatening. Bodybuilder Patrick Moore suffered an Achilles tendon injury in Apr. 2022. The two-time Mr. Olympia participant’s competitive career came under doubt after he underwent surgery for a ruptured tendon. Fortunately, he was able to recover fully and made his comeback at the 2023 Arnold Classic four months ago.

In Sep. 2022, internet sensation Bradley Martyn suffered a gruesome injury that left him needing 10 stitches inside his mouth. Known for his unique blend of entertainment and fitness, Martyn was recording another crazy video bench pressing a woman on a weight plate when she lost balance and kicked him in the face.

Bodybuilder Dies after Breaking Neck in Horrific Squat Mishap

According to Bali Discovery, bodybuilder Justyn Vicky passed away after breaking his neck in a gnarly gym accident in Bali, Indonesia. Vicky tried to squat 180-kg (396.8-lb) while training at The Paradise Gym on Saturday morning, July 15. He was trying to stand upright and complete the exercise but could not. His attempt resulted in the barbell rolling forward on his head. His neck and head violently jerked forward as he went down under the weight.

The spotter behind him was not in the best position to assist and could not save him from the horrific squat mishap. The 33-year-old was taken to a local hospital for emergency surgery. He died after the operation with a broken neck and spinal injuries.

Vicky was well known in the community as a bodybuilder, diet coach, and personal trainer with over 36,000 followers on his Instagram. Tributes came pouring in from the community following the incident.

One wrote: “Vicky was a good person, polite, and sociable. He always shared knowledge about the gym. He also advised friends at the gym to be cautious and not exceed their capabilities during training. Only we ourselves can measure our own abilities. May Mas Vicky rest peacefully in the embrace of God and find a worthy place.”

The Paradise Bali gym commented, “To our dear Justyn, your impact on our lives is immeasurable. Your legacy will live on through the countless lives you’ve touched, the transformations you’ve inspired, and the love and passion you infused into every moment we spent together. Rest peacefully, dear friend. You will forever remain in our hearts.”

Budding Men’s Open talent Blessing Awodibu faced a health scare during a lower body workout session earlier this year. He was performing hack squats and on his way up when he felt something was off with his legs. He reported there was a minor accident but he managed to avoid a potentially serious injury.

Powerlifter Dan Bell was gearing up to set a new World Record en route to his anticipated contest with legendary strongman Hafthor Bjornsson three months ago. His progress got stalled after he injured himself attempting to score a huge 425-kg (937-lb) raw squat. Although he managed to complete the lift, the heavy load caused immense stress on his spine can discs.

The tragic incident goes to show the importance of having the right safety mechanisms in place when lifting heavy. Our prayers and condolences go out to the family and friends of Justyn Vicky. 

Published on July 25, 2023 at 3:15 pm
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